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Ohrid hosts 5th Conference of Balkan Chiefs of Staff

09. June 2011. | 11:28

Source: MIA

The Balkan conference of chiefs of staff comes as a result of the initiatives and efforts for cooperation among regional countries, aimed at promoting peace and stability in the region and beyond.

Ohrid is hosting Wednesday the fifth Conference of Chiefs of Staff from Balkan countries.

Opening the conference, President Gjorge Ivanov said cooperation in the field of security was based on shared values, interests and priorities being continuously upgraded through common obligations, tasks and responsibilities.

"A decade ago, a new spirit of cooperation was also born on the Balkans. Making headway towards integration, Balkan countries stopped being a chronic exporter of instability and instead they transformed into an active contributor to regional and wider security and stability by establishing peace in their own countries," Ivanov said.

He expressed content with the fact that Balkan leaders in the past decade had turned a new page in the common history, motivated by the joint European agenda with a goal to secure free, safe and quality life to their citizens.

"I believe that by endorsing the idea of united Europe, we aim at European values and ideals, freedom, democracy and the rule of law in the best possible way. I'm convinced that it is the only way for Southeastern Europe to find its rightful place in the systems of collective security and defense. It is the only way for Europe to be truly stable," the President said amongst other things.

On his part, Chief of Macedonian Army (ARM) Staff, Lieutenant-General Miroslav Stojanovski noted that the Ohrid forum was a reflection of the joint efforts made to strengthen partnership in line with the strategic NATO concept and to achieve and promote sustainable regional security and stability. As a result, he added, the Ohrid gathering is valued as an exceptional tool for regional integration of the national capacities and enhanced support for mutual cooperative security.

"Continuity while cooperating and also expanding it into new domains is a substantial necessity," Stojanovski said.

The meeting in Ohrid brings together chiefs of general staff from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Montenegro, Brigadier-General Maksim Malaj, Lieutenant-General Miladin Milojcic, General Simeon Simeonov and Vice Admiral Dragan Samardzic respectively, as well as Deputy-Chiefs of Staff of Greece, Romania and Serbia, Lieutenant-General Georgios Nakopoulos, Lieutenant-General Dan Ghika-Radu and General Miloje Miletic respectively, along with Commander of the Third Turkish Army, General Yalcin Ataman.

Deputy-Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Lieutenant-General Walter Gaskin, Commander of the NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Admiral Samuel Locklear, Deputy-Director for Planning of the U.S. Command Europe Michael Ryan, Slovenian Deputy-Chief of Staff, Counter Admiral Renato Petric and Croatian Deputy-Chief of Staff, Counter-Admiral Zdenko Simicic also attend the conference as guests.

The Balkan conference of chiefs of staff comes as a result of the initiatives and efforts for cooperation among regional countries, aimed at promoting peace and stability in the region and beyond.

Focus will be given to enhancement of cooperation in the field of training and exercises, strengthening of good neighborly relations, as well as continuation of initiated processes for mutual management with contemporary security challenges.


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